Written by Vivienne Steele
On Day Two of the Preparing, Partnering and Participating in Fieldwork Workshop at McGill, Kate introduced some main topics of participatory epidemiology (PE) and community-based participatory research. In the morning session, the group discussion was focused on the benefits and drawbacks of PE research methods. Many useful resources were provided on USBs, including a full guide to PENAPH’s (Participatory Epidemiology Network for Animal and Public Health) course on participatory epidemiology methods. We then discussed strategies for conducting interviews and focus groups, and how to adapt the questions used during the session in particular. Next, several participants provided examples of participatory data collection techniques, including participatory mapping, participatory timelines, simple and pairwise ranking and proportional piling. In each of these techniques, we practiced applying them in small-group settings, conferring after to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. After all the jellybeans from the participatory piling technique had been consumed, we wrapped up the day with a discussion on the uses and potential analyses techniques of the participatory epidemiology methods we had practiced during the day. The workshop was a wonderful opportunity to learn and exchange with one another – I look forward to taking this knowledge with me to my next field work experience!